Sunday 21st March 2021
Fifth Sunday in Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-13; Hebrews 5:5-10; John 12:20-33

(Alternatives: Psalm 119:9-16)

Many of the readings over the last few weeks have in some way or other made reference to Godís law. This is again the case, so if it has not already done so, it might provide a basis from which to develop some prayers for those who work in the legal profession, seek to uphold and maintain laws etc. There is a clear reminder here that law and regulation is part and parcel of Godís intention for a wholesome society. Godís desire that people might follow his law through internal instinct rather than external coercion, does not devalue the role of law enforcers, but affirms that they are part of helping people live as God intends. We might also pray about those laws and statutes that we consider unjust, or not to reflect Godís ideal and purposes.

As Lent continues, these readings also draw us ever nearer to the cross. The Gospel reading, as is often the case in Johnís writing, depicts this as the moment when Jesus will be ďglorified.Ē This is a profound theological truth, that Jesusí divine nature and glory will be revealed through a gruesome and unjust act of execution. Many working Christians struggle to see work as a place where God can be glorified through their presence; this is increasingly the case in difficult economic times, when many workplaces are under pressure and struggling to remain viable. There are no easy answers to this dilemma, but there is a powerful reminder through the words of Jesus, that in the most unlikely and apparently disastrous of circumstances, Godís will can prevail and Godís nature can be made known. The way of the cross is not without pain and struggle, but it is a journey in which, like Philip and his Greek friends, we can seek and encounter the crucified and risen Jesus.